All Natural Ways to Boost Your Energy
Do you ever have those days when you’re already exhausted on Thursday—and it’s only Wednesday? Is “I may need a nap today” the first thought that pops into your mind when you wake up in the morning?
If you’re anything like me, you frequently feel overwhelmed. The stressors of life have a way of catching up with us. Feeling exhausted is just one of the many ways our hectic lifestyles negatively impact our health and well-being.
Sometimes we need to make lifestyle changes to feel less tired. Other times, we may suffer from medical conditions that contribute to our extreme exhaustion.
If you’re chronically fatigued, this article can help by answering the following questions:
Any time I want to understand a concept, I start by consulting my friend, the dictionary, to explore the meaning behind the words. According to Merriam-Webster, exhaustion is defined as, “completely or almost completely depleted of resources or contents.”
Think about that for a minute. What does it mean to be completely depleted? If humans were rechargeable batteries, it would mean it was time for a boost. Plop us into the charging port and plug us into the outlet for a dose of juice.
If only it were that simple.
In our fast-paced world, it can feel like we’re riding a merry-go-round that never stops. It can be difficult to recharge our internal batteries when we never get downtime. That’s exhaustion.
Most people don’t need to be told they’re suffering from exhaustion. They know they’re fried. However, if you’re relatively new to never-ending fatigue that seems to come with adulting, some of the most common signs include:
· Disinterest in favorite activities.
· Lack of motivation.
· Muscle pain and weakness.
· Nervousness and irritability.
For some, exhaustion can be more mental than physical. Feeling physically tired after running a marathon is quite different from the mental fatigue that comes from being overburdened.
When you become mentally fatigued, you can have difficulty concentrating and be less productive in all areas of your life. You just feel…blah.
Sadly, it’s possible to be mentally and physically exhausted simultaneously.
If you find yourself considering a nap before you've even started the day, it might be time to explore why you’re so tired. Are you cramming in too many activities, leaving no time to just breathe? Do other people make unrealistic demands of your time and refuse to take no for an answer, even when you try to set boundaries?
There are several reasons why people reach complete depletion. Some have to do with lifestyle choices while others could be from underlying medical conditions.
Dietary contributors to fatigue
Humans tend to be very busy creatures. We wear overscheduling ourselves like some badge of honor. As we rush from one activity to another, we can be tempted to eat junk food because we don’t want to spend the time it takes to cook a healthy meal.
Dietary contributors to fatigue are common. If you regularly consume any of the following foods, it could be making your exhaustion worse:
- Baked goods.
- Heavily processed foods.
- Highly caffeinated drinks.
- Starchy foods made with white flour.
- Sugary foods.
The good news is you can reduce the chances of your poor diet making your tiredness worse by incorporating three easy tips into your daily routine.
1. Drink water and other decaffeinated drinks throughout the day to stay hydrated.
· 2. Eat 5-6 small meals a day, including 2 snacks, to keep blood sugar levels stable.
· 3. Stick to your recommended daily calorie intake.
Lifestyle choices that cause fatigue
Poor nutritional habits aren’t the only reason we feel so tired. Our lifestyle choices can contribute significantly to exhaustion levels.
Maybe you’re the type of person who works until you drop—literally. Whether it’s because you can’t say no to your boss, or because you feel like you must push yourself to succeed professionally, the inability to set work-life boundaries is a leading cause of fatigue.
Overscheduling is not always confined to our professional lives. We can find ourselves rushing from the school pickup line to the soccer field (or other extra-curricular activity), trying to squeeze as much fun out of life as possible. If you have more than one child, it can become downright impossible to fit all their needs and activities into the few free hours you have each day.
With all that running, it’s no wonder more than a third of Americans report getting less than the 7 hours of recommended sleep each night (and yes, we mean 7 consecutive hours, not 2 here, 3, there, and 2 more later).
Sometimes we must evaluate our lifestyle choices and commit to making changes that will improve our energy and overall well-being.
Medical reasons for fatigue
Being so exhausted you can’t function isn’t always the result of poor nutrition and lifestyle. You might have an underlying medical condition contributing to your fatigue. Some of the medical conditions that can cause you to feel tired all the time include:
- Heart failure.
- Kidney disease.
If you’ve evaluated your dietary and lifestyle choices and don’t feel they are causing your chronic fatigue, then it’s time to visit your primary care doctor for a full checkup.
Maybe. It’s normal to go through periods of lower energy. However, if it’s been two weeks (or longer) and you just can’t seem to bounce back, it may be time to schedule a visit to your doctor.
Sometimes your fatigue comes with other symptoms, like fever or loss of appetite. Those are warning signs that the week of eating at McDonald’s every night and getting 3 hours of nightly sleep aren’t the only reasons you’re feeling devoid of energy.
Let me state the obvious here. If you constantly stuff junk food into your face and get 4 hours of sleep each night, your body is eventually going to rebel. If you want to combat your exhaustion, you need to make a conscious effort to eat healthier foods and get more rest.
On the other hand, if you follow a relatively healthy diet and have a decent work-life balance (but are still fighting fatigue), there are some things you can do to naturally boost your energy levels. I recommend a physical exam first, to rule out any underlying medical causes for your exhaustion. If you get the green light from your physician, then consider some of these all-natural solutions.
Drink more water
Your body is about 60% water. So, it only makes sense that you need enough water to stay hydrated and functioning at full capacity.
When your body is lacking adequate hydration, one of the first warning signs it sends your way is fatigue. I start every day by drinking two, 8-ounce glasses of water. Not only does it help replenish my fluids after depriving myself during sleep, but it also gets my metabolism going.
Keep in mind that it’s possible to drink too much water. You can calculate how much water you need daily to ensure you’re not overhydrating.
Who has time for exercise? The unpopular answer is that we all do. We simply must prioritize exercise in our daily schedules to make it work. Sometimes I drag my bottom out of bed at 4:30 a.m. because I know it’s the only chance I’ll get to squeeze in a workout.
Exercise gives your cells more energy to burn and helps circulate oxygen throughout your body. Best of all, it boosts your dopamine levels naturally, making you feel happier. Commit to exercising 4-5 times a week and you’ll start to notice a difference.
Inhale your fatigue away
Aromatherapy is an effective way to temporarily boost your energy when you simply can’t adjust your overscheduled life. A array of safe, effective aromatherapy inhalers are available these days, to help with everyday health concerns like appetite control, low libido, even grief and worry. A number of them use the power of essential oils to jumpstart your energy naturally, enhance your concentration, and improve your mood.
If insomnia is the reason you’re feeling exhausted, you can even use aromatherapy inhalers to help you relax and get a good night’s sleep.
Massage your stress away
Stress can compound until we feel emotionally and physically drained. When we’re anxious, it can be difficult to relax enough to get a restful night’s sleep.
Massage is one of the most recommended natural solutions for combatting chronic fatigue. It boosts circulation and can reduce anxiety, making it easier to fall asleep (and stay asleep). Pairing massage with other alternative therapies like acupuncture can maximize the health benefits.
About the Author: Shari Berg is a researcher, frequent blogger, feature writer, and author of Wars End with Me.
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